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17.01.2008 14:22

“The second leg at home makes it easier for us”

Jordi Clos

Andrés Iniesta has described Villarreal, Barça’s opponents in the quarter finals of the Spanish Cup, as “tough opposition”. However, he’s counting on home advantage in the second leg to help the team get through the tie and “play better football”.

Villarreal are to be Barça’s adversary in the quarter finals of the King’s Cup and at this lunchtime’s press conference Andrés Iniesta talked about the tie. “They are tough opposition. Playing the second leg at home makes it easier for us but then there’s also the first leg and all games are hard. You see that in the League.”

The positives in knocking out Sevilla

QM3D5873.jpgIniesta also spoke about the way Barça played in the second leg of their last 16 encounter with Sevilla. “I don’t think we abandoned our philosophy. We always want to move the ball around quickly and get it up front fast. Games are different, but we’ve got through a very tough tie and now we have the chance to play better.” He went on to point out that “maybe if we’d played in a different way we’d have been knocked out and wouldn’t have the chance to play better football in the quarter finals.”

Playing for the team

iniestarp170708.jpgIniesta began the Sevilla match on the left-hand side of Barça’s attack where he was faced with Daniel Alves and Jesús Navas. He knew just what he had to do: “We needed to take care of their right side and I’m chuffed that I was able to cover it. Football’s not just about attacking; you have to defend as well.”

Not worried about Madrid

Iniesta was repeatedly asked by the assembled journalists about Real Madrid being knocked out of the Cup by Mallorca. The central midfielder steered clear of controversy: “We’re just happy that we’ve got through. If Mallorca knocked out Madrid, that means they deserved to get through as well.” He added that “we don’t care what they do in the Cup, as we need them to trip up in the League. Getting knocked out is always painful and hard to accept.” Nevertheless he insisted that “we have to win our games and not worry so much about Madrid.”
“The second leg at home makes it easier for us”

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Praise for Pinto
Iniesta was enthusiastic about the possible signing of José Manuel Pinto to stand in for Albert Jorquera. “He’s shown that he’s a great goalie as he’s won the Zamora Trophy for fewest goals conceded in a season.” Iniesta finished up by saying that “If in the end he comes here, we’ll make sure he feels at home. He’ll be coming to help out and if he does sign for us, I hope that at the end of the season he’s happy because he’s achieved things.”

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